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Mommy Not-So-Dearest: 10 Notorious Criminal Moms

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Raising kids can be a very stressful enterprise, and while some women respond by taking a "Cathy"-esque break with chocolates and chardonnay, some become notorious criminals.

Get ready to call your mom and thank her after you read about these 10 notorious criminal moms:

  1. Susan Smith. This South Carolina mom claimed that she was carjacked with her two children in the back seat in 1994, when in fact she had driven the car into a lake with her toddlers strapped in.
  2. Andrea Yates. In a case that made the whole country reconsider postpartum depression, Houston resident Yates was convicted of drowning her children one after another during a psychotic break in 2001.
  3. Nadya "Octomom" Suleman. The incredibly fertile Suleman was under fire for child neglect after keeping her children in squalid conditions despite spending $520 on a haircut.
  4. Patricia "Tanning Mom" Krentcil. This New Jersey mom gained notoriety last year after she allegedly took her 5-year-old daughter to the tanning salon, where the girl suffered burns.
  5. Ethel Rosenberg. Half of the infamous husband-and-wife spy team, Rosenberg was executed for trying to steal U.S. nuclear secrets for the Russians in the 1940s.
  6. Dorothea Puente. Mother and boarding house proprietor Puente was convicted of murder after police in 1988 found seven bodies of tenants she had drugged and suffocated in her yard.
  7. Jennifer San Marco. A California mom who "went postal," ex-USPS employee Marco shot and killed six workers at a mail processing plant before ending her own life in 2006.
  8. Francine Hughes. Battered wife and mother Hughes became infamous after she set her husband on fire (a scene that was later re-enacted by Farrah Fawcett in "The Burning Bed") in 1977 and became a touchstone for future spousal murder defense.
  9. Lauryn Hill. Famous songwriter and Grammy-winner Hill became another mom headed to prison as she was sentenced this week to three months hard time for tax evasion.
  10. Courtney Love. The notorious widow of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, Love might not have been the best mom when she was arrested in 2003 for trying to break into a friend's house while she was high.

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